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Andre Roberson’s decision on NBA will heavily influence how Colorado is viewed next season

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(AP)

Many of the most notable underclassmen around the nation have made their decisions about whether to turn pro, but one in Colorado continues to mull his decision keeping fans and his coaches on pins and needles.

Andre Roberson, a 6-foot-7 forward who finished second in the nation in rebounding and was named Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year this season, might keep Colorado coach Tad Boyle waiting until the April 28 NBA deadline for underclassmen to declare.

Boyle has met with Roberson and his parents, telling them he believes his best player should return for his senior season. Boyle based his opinion on the evaluation Roberson received from the NBA committee that advises underclassmen about their draft potential. Roberson is viewed as a second-round pick who needs to improve his perimeter shot and ball handling to possibly move into the first round in the 2014 draft.

Roberson has not discussed the decision publicly and hasn't set a timetable for an announcement.

"One of the things I talked to Andre about is, 'Andre, you're going to develop next year as a basketball player. You're going to develop next year,'" Boyle said last week. "'The question is, where do you want to develop? Do you want to develop in college? Do you want to develop in the D League? Do you want to develop overseas? Do you want to develop on an NBA bench where you're working out with an assistant coach on game day and getting better? Where do you see yourself? Where would you be comfortable? Where would you be most happy?' That's really the decision he has to make."

When Roberson does make up his mind, the decision will have a big influence on how the Buffs are seen going into next season. With him on the roster, Boyle would have all five starters back from an NCAA tournament team and two likely picks in the 2014 NBA draft.

Spencer Dinwiddie, a 6-6 point guard who will be a junior next season, is listed as a lottery pick by some in early 2014 mock drafts. Some way-too-early preseason top 25 forecasts for 2013-14 have the Buffs ranked as high as the top 15, assuming both Roberson and Dinwiddie remain in Boulder. They did not make our top 10 and they just missed the top 10 from Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis.

If the Buffs do earn a preseason top 25 ranking, it would be only the second time in history they have done so and the first time in more than 40 years.

If Roberson does turn pro later this month but Dinwiddie returns, the Buffs still will be among the Pac-12 favorites going into next season and still might garner some top 25 votes. However, they won't be viewed as quite the threat to Arizona in the Pac-12 that they would be with Roberson.

There is debate about whether Roberson already is the most accomplished player in the modern history of the program, surpassing Chauncey Billups. He has led the Buffs to the postseason three straight years, a first for the program, and is 10 rebounds shy of becoming the school's career leader in rebounds.

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